Potential application of carbohydrate biomass in hydrometallurgy: one-pot reduction of metal oxides/salts under mild hydrothermal conditions

RSC Adv. 2022 Jul 20;12(32):20747-20754. doi: 10.1039/d2ra01493a. eCollection 2022 Jul 14.


Carbohydrate biomass can be employed as a reductant for metallic material preparation due to it possessing diverse reducing functional groups. The reported studies focused on reduction of metal ions in acidic solution with the aid of biomass. However, we found alkali hydrothermal conditions are favorable to metal compound reduction, even direct conversion of metal oxides to metals. Based on our previous research on direct reduction of CuO and NiO into the corresponding metals, herein, conversion of other metal oxides (Fe2O3, MnO2, Co3O4, PbO2) with glucose was investigated to illustrate the universal applicability of direct reduction of metal oxides with carbohydrates under alkali hydrothermal conditions. Furthermore, metal salt reduction by carbohydrates was studied and the reduction performance of glucose and cellulose with and without alkali was compared. The results showed an alkaline hydrothermal environment is more conducive to metal reduction. Unlike the complete reduction of CuO and NiO, oxides of Fe(iii), Mn(iv), Co(iii) and Pb(iv) can only be partially reduced under the experimental conditions. Not only carbohydrates but also decomposed intermediates can reduce metal oxides or salts. In addition, due to the formation of stable complexes between the anions of salts and the decomposition products of carbohydrates, the reduction effects of various copper salts are significantly different. This study may provide an alternative approach to metal preparation in hydrometallurgy.

PMID:35919188 | PMC:PMC9297530 | DOI:10.1039/d2ra01493a


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